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    Sale 7375

    The Genius of the German Renaissance: Prints by Albrecht Dürer

    4 December 2007, London, King Street

  • Lot 118

    Albrecht Dürer

    Saint Anthony reading (B. 58; M., Holl. 51; S.M.S. 87)

    Price Realised  

    Albrecht Dürer
    Saint Anthony reading (B. 58; M., Holl. 51; S.M.S. 87)
    engraving, 1519, a very good silvery Meder a impression, without watermark, with thread margins, some surface dirt, most noticeable along the platemark, two vertical creases visible on the reverse, generally in good condition
    P. 100 x 144 mm., S. 101 x 147 mm.


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    Saint Anthony (circa 251-356), an Egyptian monk who as young man sought solitude, abstinence and meditation in the desert, is considered the first Christian hermit. Dürer, in one of his rare horizontal compositions, avoids the more picturesque episode of the saint's temptation and instead shows him in scholarly contemplation, not unlike Saint Jerome in his Study (lot 100). However, instead of a comfortable room, Dürer has placed the ascetic saint in front of a spectacular cityscape, which for us today is probably the main attraction of this print.

    As in many of his later prints, Dürer has reduced his palette to subtle gradations of silvery grey, and this renunciation of strong contrasts so well suits the quiet, reflective mood.

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